Google has offered archiving and distribution data for years to researchers who needed to store and move massive amounts of data. According to Ars Technica, Google is looking at innovative ways of making some of these large datasets (often stored in Google's own 3 terabyte storage systems distributed to scientists) available to the public. Such data include
early data from the Hubble Space Telescope and images of the Archimedes Palimpsest, which contains an early copy of some of the mathematician's writings.
Google's biggest challenge will be creating interfaces to these massive data stores that make sense to users and are functional at both standard broadband and research institution connection speeds. Some may use elements of the Google Earth interface; others will require new ways of thinking about and sharing data, the hope being that Google will eventually be able to monetize the technologies it creates for this purpose.